Dayton Early College Academy

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Community Involvement

An important part of The Dayton Early College Academy’s focus on college and career preparation is our emphasis on creating a link between school and community as well as between abstract academic content and real world experiences. DECA firmly believes that a high school education should prepare students to respond to the real world. Integrating community service, job shadows, internships and other networking experiences into the curriculum is a valued step in that direction. Using staff, parents, and community resources, DECA’s goal is to build sustainable partnerships with community sponsors to accomplish our objectives.



DECA students are  required to fulfill several community involvement activities including completing 100 hours of community service, three job shadows, and two internships prior to graduating. All community involvement is directed by DECA’s Office of Community Involvement.


Community Service

Community service refers to services performed by DECA students to benefit our community and its institutions. Students must complete at least 100 hours to graduate.

  1. You can request community service volunteers by contacting our community involvement director, Anne Rasmussen at
  2. You can request one student or groups of students to help you with your community service project.
  3. DECA students are responsible for and expected to log and document their hours independently.
  4. DECA students are expected to take personal responsibility for their community service transportation needs.
  5. DECA students are always available for community service projects. Feel free to call on them routinely and frequently.


Job Shadows

DECA’s job shadow program provides opportunities for students to explore their career aspirations. The shadow experience allows students to share the day with a successful businessman or businesswoman, seeing first hand the realities of day-to-day duties and responsibilities.

  1. Job shadows are typically the length of one school day, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and going until approximately 2:00 p.m.
  2. DECA staff arranges transportation to and from the shadow location.
  3. Job shadows are usually organized for one or two students at a time; however, large companies with multiple departments will occasionally organize shadows for small groups of up to ten.
  4. Students can and often do shadow more than one person throughout the course of a day. If your business has multiple departments, you can divide the job shadow experience amongst departments of interest.
  5. You can host a job shadow as often or as seldom as you like. Companies often make shadow days available once or twice a semester.


All DECA students are required to complete a minimum of two internships. These unpaid experiences allow each student to be trained and work under the direct supervision of a professional. To complete the internship, students must spend approximately 40 hours of experiential time on site working alongside a professional. DECA’s internship goal is to connect classroom and college learning to application in the workplace. If you or your company are interested in becoming involved in the internship program, please contact Anne Rasmussen at

  1. Internships are unpaid experiences.
  2. DECA staff arranges transportation to and from the internship location.
  3. Internships can be setup as extended job shadows whereby a student shadows multiple professionals within an organization over a period of time.
  4. Internships can be setup as project-based experiences whereby students get involved in a hands-on learning opportunity within the organization.
  5. Internships are fulfilled by spending approximately 40 experiential hours with the sponsoring organization.
  6. DECA student interns are expected to write a 3-5 page paper that summarizes the experience and reflects on the learning that occurred.